• It’s the first day of a new week and you may be having a bad case of the Mondays. Hoop Ball understands your pain.  So with that in mind, we don’t want you to add any more stress to your day by having to navigate through League Pass just to find a good game to watch. Let us do that job for you.

    The Honorable Mentions: The Warriors go up against the young Timberwolves, the Kings face the hobbled Bulls and the Bucks look to take down the Pistons.

    Now for your ‘must watch’ game of the night.

    Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks

    Tip Time: 8 pm (est)

    Where: Philips Arena, Atlanta, GA

    Player Matchup: Markieff Morris and Paul Millsap

    The Wizards (34-35) have bounced back in a big way after going through a season-high five-game losing streak just a week ago. Since then, the team has won four games in a row and sits just one and a half games behind the Chicago Bulls for the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.

    John Wall has been exceptional this season averaging a career-high 20.1 points, 10 assists and five rebounds per game. Through the month of March, Wall has not let off the gas averaging 20.3 points, 11 assists and 6.2 rebounds per game.

    It’s been a slow transition for Markieff Morris, who was acquired by the Wizards at the February 18th trade deadline, as he has quietly become a useful player for the Wizards. Over Morris’ last 10 games, the four-year veteran has been averaging 12.2 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists per game.

    “It’s going to be a great matchup with him (Morris) going up against Millsap,” Wall said. We’ve got someone who can guard (guys like him) one-on-one.”

    The Hawks (41-29), after a disappointing start to the season, have now looked like the team they were when they won 60 games last season. Atlanta is currently on a five-game winning streak and in the month of March the Hawks have gone 8-2.

    Over the Hawks last three games, the team has averaged 114.3 points per game while only giving up 91.8 points to their opponents.

    “I think we’re just peaking at the right time as a team,” Horford said. “It feels very different. I feel like we’re a much better team. We’re much more focused.”

    A big contributor to their success is nine-year veteran Paul Millsap. The skilled big man has played great this season and over the team’s past 10 games he has been filling up the stat sheet with averages of 15.9 points, 3.4 assists, nine rebounds, two steals and 1.8 blocks per contest. In his last game against the Wizards, Millsap put on a show finishing with 21 points, six rebounds and seven assists.

    Atlanta has won 14 of their last 15 meetings. Washington has a lot on the line as they fight for their playoff lives. For the Hawks, they want some breathing room in their chase of the third seed in the East. With so much on the line for both teams this game is going to have the playoff-type feel that everyone enjoys watching.

Fantasy News

  • Milton Doyle
    G, Chicago Bulls

    Milton Doyle, formerly of the Nets and Spanish club UCAM Murcia, has agreed to a partially-guaranteed deal with the Bulls.

    Doyle played 10 games with the Nets in 2017-18. He's facing an uphill battle but will try to earn a roster spot in training camp.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Joakim Noah
    C, Memphis Grizzlies

    Joakim Noah plans to join workouts with the Clippers this week, per Shams Charania.

    Noah hasn't been in the news since he was up for consideration with the Lakers, but he would be a nice bench pickup for the Clippers. They could use a big-bodied center to crash and bang in certain matchups, and Noah would fit in as a strong defender. We'll see if anything comes of this week's workouts.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Carmelo Anthony
    PF, Free Agent

    As of right now, the Nets are "very unlikely" to sign Carmelo Anthony, according to a report from Shams Charania.

    Brooklyn is more likely to sign players that they have worked out recently, with Charania naming Lance Thomas and C.J. Williams as possibilities. At least more people can complain about Melo being unsigned now.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Chuma Okeke
    PF, Orlando Magic

    According to Shams Charania, the Magic plan to redshirt rookie Chuma Okeke, who is recovering from a torn left ACL.

    Earlier in the summer Magic POBO Jeff Weltman said that he believed Okeke could return this season, but there's no rush for him to get back on the court. The 16th overall pick will be able to focus on rehab this season, and he's off the board in all redraft formats.

    Source: Shams Charania on Twitter

  • Chris Paul
    PG, Oklahoma City Thunder

    Though the Thunder are prepared to open the season with Chris Paul as a "veteran star and leader," Shams Charania is reporting that the Heat have "a level of interest" in CP3.

    The Heat and Paul were said to have mutual interest back when CP3 was first traded to Oklahoma City but the teams couldn't work out a deal. It is now expected that Miami will play out the start of the season and see how things are going before they make a big play for Paul, as acquiring his three years and $124 million would require a trade of major contracts. A deal would certainly improve Paul's fantasy outlook but as it stands he figures to stay on the cusp of early-round production as long as he's on the court, even for a Thunder team that's looking to the future.

    Source: The Athletic

  • Antonio Blakeney
    SG, Chicago Bulls

    Antonio Blakeney has agreed to a deal with Jiangsu in the CBA.

    Blakeney was let go by the Bulls a couple weeks ago. A strong scorer at the G-League level, he should be able to drop some huge games in China. We'd expect to hear his name on the mid-season free agency market if all goes well overseas.

    Source: Sportando

  • Furkan Korkmaz
    SG, Philadelphia Sixers

    After an injury-plagued sophomore campaign for the Sixers, Furkan Korkmaz knows this season will be crucial for his future and he is hoping to make big strides this year.

    The one thing Korkmaz has going for him is his shooting ability and that is something the Sixers could surely utilize on this roster. It did not click last season, but Korkmaz will get another chance to prove his worth at some point this season. Still, it is hard to picture him coming out of the gate with a big role on opening night.

    Source: Sixers.com

  • Nikola Mirotic
    PF, Milwaukee Bucks

    On Sunday, Nikola Mirotic dropped 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting for Barcelona.

    Mirotic's opening appearance for his new EuroLeague club, Barcelona, resulted in a victory, and he did not have to work too hard for most of his buckets at the Supercopa Endesa versus Valencia. Mirotic should find quick success during his return to European basketball, but NBA fantasy players will surely be missing his presence stateside.

    Source: Eurohoops

  • Bruce Brown
    SG, Detroit Pistons

    Coach Dwane Casey spoke highly of Bruce Brown’s defensive play, calling him an ‘elite defender.’

    Brown remains in contention for a starting spot with the Pistons, but he is not a high-usage player, and the Pistons have stocked up with offensive threats such as Derrick Rose and the immortal Joe Johnson. It will be tough for Brown to rack up enough touches or minutes this season.

    Source: Pistons.com

  • Kevin Durant
    SF, Brooklyn Nets

    There is some optimism in league circles about Kevin Durant's (Achilles) chances of playing this season, according to Brian Lewis of the New York Post.

    Looking back on Durant's decision to return during the Finals, the Nets may want to exude caution when considering KD's return to action. However, Durant is pursuing his rehab with a sense of purpose, and it would be great to see him get back on the court this season. We'll keep you posted when a real timeline on Durant's rehab emerges. This news does not make him a target on draft day for standard leagues.

    Source: New York Post